"Never settle for less than your dreams.
Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them
."

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

Get more Insight, Inspiration and Self Discovery at The Walkabout.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Podcast of the Week - The Art of Relationships Radio Show

This February, we have stayed true to the theme of love in our weekly podcasts. We began with We Know Nothing, then The Art of Love on the eve of Valentines Day and last week, Coupledom.
To end the month, we feature The Art of Relationships Radio Show. It is a great podcast when it comes to the underlying issues in relationships that many seldom talk about.



The Art of Relationships Radio Show is hosted by Greg Dudzinski. He is a relationship and sex counselor, who
..covers crucial elements in rebuilding emotional and physical intimacy, plus help reignite the passion in your romantic relationships! 
Answering & discussing questions to your relationship & sexual challenges in a genuine, safe & sometimes humorous format, [Greg hopes to help in] becoming more fulfilled, healthier, and happier in your relationships and life.

This is a weekly show, with new episodes out every Thursday.


Favorite episodes

Abusive relationships and lip service. Download audio (mp3).

Trust building in relationships. Download audio (mp3).

Sexual and emotional maturity. Download audio (mp3).

The impact social media has on relationships. Download audio (mp3).

Boring sex, plus chemistry and friendship. Download audio (mp3).


Podcast feed

Here is The Art of Relationships RSS feed.


* * *


When all is said in the game of love, fond memories endure. People look back and realize that with emotional maturity, it becomes possible to look at what positive things a lover, gone or present, has brought into one's life. It is such a time that Faith Hill's words ring so true...






Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Unlimited Mobile Broadband and Bundled Tariffs in Kenya

On Friday, February 19, 2015, Airtel Kenya unveiled a bundled data + voice + sms package dubbed "UnlimiNET." This was just a day before the scheduled reduction of the data volume in Club 20, from 100MB to 40MB.

Here are the UnlimiNET daily, weekly and monthly packages:



For the purposes of full disclosure, I am a long-time Airtel Kenya customer and I am currently on the UnlimiNET 250 weekly package. 


Bundled packages

That aside, UnlimiNET is not the first bundled tariff from Kenyan telcos. Airtel already has Airtel Tosha, which for a price range of between Ksh 10 and Ksh 100, also has daily, weekly and monthly data+voice+sms packages.

Orange Kenya does have Holla, which for Ksh 10 gives you 10MB, 20SMS off-net, 100 SMS on-net and 180 minutes to call within the Orange network. In addition, there is a similar offer for Ksh 20. It should be noted however, that Orange doesn't offer off-net minutes.


Safaricom's bundled tariff takes the form of daily data for mobile packages, where Ksh 10 gets you 10MB + 10 SMS (on-net). Similarly, 20MB + 20 on-net SMS costs Ksh 20. No off-net voice or sms on this network.

The newbie Equitel, also has data+sms packages as follows:
  • 50MB + 50SMS for Ksh 60.
  • 20MB + 20SMS for Ksh 25.
 The thing to note is that Equitel's bundled offers above have a validity of 1 month, unlike the rest that typically remain valid for only 24 hours.


Unlimited Internet

We all know that absolutely unlimited Internet on a wireless carrier is not practical and isn't a viable business option. For this reason, telcos come up with a fair usage policy (FUP) to forestall misuse of network resources by heavy downloaders who may end up degrading the quality of the shared link with other users on the network. Upon reaching the FUP limit, data is usually throttled to a usable, albeit frustrating low speed.

Safaricom once had Unlimited Internet. It was as follows:
  • 1 day unlimited for Ksh 200.
  • 3 days unlimited for Ksh 500 (weekends).
  • 7 days unlimited for Ksh 1000.
  • 30 days unlimited for Ksh 3000.
This tariff came with a FUP that was twice revised, after which the speed was initially throttled to 512kbps and later the impractical 128kbps. The Unlimited data service was eventually halted thanks to users "abusing" the service by torrenting, running cyber cafes.. which degraded the Internet service quality for all users.

Orange Kenya has Unlimited Internet on GSM both for mobile phones and modems.
For mobile:
  • 1 day unlimited for Ksh 50. - FUP is 100MB.
  • 7 days unlimited for Ksh 249. - FUP is 500MB.
  • 30 days unlimited for Ksh 990. - FUP is 2GB.
The speed is throttled to a painful 64kbps after reaching FUP.

For modems:
  • 7 days unlimited for Ksh 990, FUP 10GB.
  • 30 days unlimited for Ksh 2990, FUP 20GB.
Post FUP speed is 256kbps.

Airtel Kenya's unlimited Internet has been there all along. The post FUP speed is at times quoted as 128kbps or 256kbps. Here are the daily, weekly and monthly packages with the corresponsing FUP data volumes.
  • 1 day unlimited at Ksh 250. FUP 3GB.
  • 7 days unlimited at Ksh 1299. FUP 20GB.
  • 30 days unlimited at Ksh 3499. FUP 30GB.
yuMobile, now owned by Airtel (therefore 3G speeds attained), has Unlimited Internet. It should be noted that the respective bundles expire at midnight and upon reaching FUP, the speed is not throttled. Much worse does happen since the connection is terminated entirely. Packages are as follows:
  • 1 day unlimited at Ksh 39. FUP 100MB.
  • 7 days unlimited at Ksh 250. 
  • 30 days unlimited at Ksh 499. FUP 500MB.

The yet-to-be-launched Equitel doesn't have Unlimited Internet offers.


Conclusion

In view of the foregoing, Airtel Kenya presents the best value for money when you consider data+voice+sms as a package. The catch is that speed is not high everywhere, given low 3G coverage across the country. Orange is a worthy second,

If you're not actively looking for a good deal, where what matters most is high 3G speed and spending large amounts of money is not a problem, Safaricom is your friend. It has the widest 3G coverage and the speeds are great, largely in part to fiber-optic connections to many of the 3G towers. Lack of unlimited Internet also ensures bandwidth hogs keep off the Safaricom 3G network.


* * * 

February is almost coming to an end. It is a short month, but the heat in Nairobi area and other parts in Kenya makes one think it is endless summer in this place. But there's still time for love. Here is Jessica Simpson's younger sister, Ashlee:





Endless Summer 







Monday, February 23, 2015

Gadget of the Week - Infinix Hot Note X551

The last time we featured a 'Note' smartphone, it was the Samsung Note Edge whose "edge" sets it apart from other phones in its class. Having at what the good people at Intel are coming up with to revolutionize computing, we now get back to highlight yet another 'Note' smartphone which is worth considering.

Guys, here's introducing the Infinix Hot Note X551 from Infinix Mobility.



Infinix is a French smartphone company that has recently launched it's phone and tablet products in several African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Infinix also offers Cloud and related data services.
From the Infinix web site, here are some of the salient features of Note X551.

The Hot Note X551 is now available in Kenya. On the Jumia online shopping site, customers can get a discount on this and other Infinix smartphones.


Infinix Note X551 is a 5.5 inch phablet that packs an octa-core 1.4GHz processor. Rear and front cameras are 8MP and 2MP respectively. It has 1GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. It also comes with a MicroSD slot, to expand storage up to 32GB.


Where it stands out

In addition to the aforementioned, already impressive specifications, the Note X551 has a massive 4000mAh Li-Po battery. This means that unlike many other smartphones that struggle to maintain a charge for a day, Note X551 can last two days.

And the battery goodness doesn't end there! It also has a fast-charging feature, where charging the phone for just 20 minutes results in a charge that can last 7 hours. A one hour charge will let you use the phone for a day and half.
This is possible thanks to the use of fast charging at 3A current. It should be noted that fast charging is only possible when the phone is paired with the Infinix fast charging accessory.

Given that the Infinix Note X551 is a Dual SIM phone, the fact that both lines have 2G/3G functionality is a big plus. Many other competing dual SIM handsets only have SIM 1 with both 2G/3G ability while SIM 2 only has 2G.

Finally, thanks to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, Note X551 has the new SELinux module that checks all incoming programs and screens internet applications for permission to use your personal data.

Here's more features and full specifications.


Expert Reviews

The product has recently been released. No expert reviews yet.


User Opinions

This is a new product, no user reviews yet.
But here is an "unboxing and first impressions" video:




Pricing and Availability

The Infinix Hot Note X551 is available in Kenya for Ksh 9,999 on the Jumia online store.


* * *

Sometimes it makes sense to look back in order to see the future. Donald Trump is famous for saying "nothing personal, it's just business."
We already have established market leaders such as HTC and Samsung, but upcoming handset makers such as Infinix, Wiko, Micromax and OnePlus One are gradually upsetting the market dynamics with disruptive smartphone innovations.
That said, here is a throwback tune from Monica.





Sunday, February 22, 2015

Video of the Week - The Future of Learning

One of the things that sets human beings apart from other animals is our ability to anticipate the future and accordingly, shape it. People can learn from past experiences, they can very well understand the present and do have the ability to shape even an uncertain future.

Speaking of learning, we have in the past shared Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk where he explains how schools kill creativity. Now other thinkers have come out to challenge the learning process as it is today.

Cathy Davidson who co-authored The Future of Thinking: Learning in a Digital Age [PDF], shares her insights below:

Here is the video titled Now You See It: Why the Future of Learning Demands a Paradigm Shift.




* * *


There are innumerable resources that are quite useful for those who want to change the way things have always been, those intent on trying new ways if only to get different results. Interestingly, we never change.






Friday, February 20, 2015

Podcast of the Week - Coupledom

This is the third week of February. Our podcasts this month are on love, dating, relationships, courting, marriage etc. So far, we have shared We Know Nothing and The Art of Love.



Coupledom is hosted by Christopher and Carolina. Every week, they discuss adult relationship topics, including domestic issues, money, and parenting.


Favorite Episodes



What's sexy, and what is not? Download audio (mp3).

Women have it easy, right? Download audio (mp3).

How to argue. Download audio (mp3).

Risky stuff. Download audio (mp3).

Devolution in a successful relationship. Download audio (mp3). 


Podcast feed

Here is the Coupledom podcast feed.


* * *


It's just under a week since Valentines Day, and the romance, color and pomp that often mark that day may have faded a bit. But love, especially when true, is enduring. For a couple to properly click, it takes lots of compromising and the willingness to change, for the other person, and for the greater good.
John Legend, take it away . . .







Sunday, February 15, 2015

Video of the Week - Disruptive Innovation and the Dangers of Resisting Change

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. 
- Lao Tzu.





Right now, the one thing on every person's lips in Kenya is Digital Migration, which has been a trending topic on social networks all weekend. In fact, it overshadowed the expected Valentines Day on Saturday, February 14.

What really happened is that the Supreme Court  on Friday, February 13, removed the temporary authorization that has enabled NTV, KTN, QTV and Citizen TV to continue broadcasting on analogue TV signals pending the determination of the digital migration case. Consequently, all the previously scheduled phased digital migration dates, as published by the Communications Authority of Kenya, should be followed. After CA advised all TV stations to switch off analogue transmission my midnight of the same day, the ADN stations defied that order and CA was forced to shut down the analogue transmission sites at Limuru on Saturday, February 14. In protest, the 4 stations shut down their entire digital transmission, including on DSTV and Zuku where they have contractual agreements.

The aforementioned Kenyan TV stations under the Africa Digital Network consortium continue to be opposed to digital migration in Kenya, and have repeatedly gone to court in an effort to delay the process as much as possible.

Acclaimed radio presenter Caroline Mutoko has had this to say about digital migration.





Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation is defined as:
an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

The term was coined by Clayton Christensen, author of the popular Innovator's Dilemma series of books.
In the video below, Prof Clayton explains Disruptive Innovation. 




Over at Innosight, it is noted that disruptive innovations are not so much about winning in a race, but about delivering innovations aimed at a set of customers whose needs are being ignored by industry leaders.
Following is the risk currently facing the media houses in Kenya that remain opposed to digital migration:
By pursuing only "sustaining innovations" that perpetuate what has historically helped them succeed, companies unwittingly open the door to disruptive innovations.


How the Mighty Fall

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Build to Last and How the Mighty Fall, has written an article that explains the five stages of decline which herald the downfall of any organization. These are:
  • hubris born of success
  • undisciplined pursuit of more
  • denial of risk and peril
  • grasping for salvation
  • capitulation to irrelevance or death.



Jim Collins: How The Mighty Fall.

If you look closely, this most likely may be the fate that befalls the ADN consortium should they continue fighting, as opposed to embracing the change and making the most of the benefits and opportunities that the inevitable digital migration brings.


* * *

Shania Twain, the Canadian musician who can't easily impress much, did a song that addresses the new mess we have created thanks to wanting more and more. Here she is with Ka-Ching.






Friday, February 13, 2015

Podcast of the Week - The Art of Love

Tomorrow is Valentines Day on this cupid's month of February.


Our podcasts this month are about love. We have so far featured the We Know Nothing podcast. In coming weeks, we shall feature stuff to do with couples and relationships (hint, hint).

This week, our podcast is The Art of Love.
It is presented weekly by Lucia, a dating and relationship expert. Lucia is also the author of Lessons of Love.



Favorite Episodes

How to connect emotionally with a guy. Download audio (mp3).

How to make a first great impression. Download audio (mp3).

Why didn't s/he call back after the first date? Download audio (mp3).

How to date better people. Download audio (mp3).

What do women want in and out of the bedroom? Download audio (mp3).


Podcast feed

The RSS feed is available, together with an extensive archive feed of The Art of Love podcast.
Other subscription options include iTunes, Google and myYahoo.


* * *

Love is a great motivator. Many things have been done in the name of love, and people stay hopeful and determined for loved ones and causes they love. Travis says love will come through . . .







Monday, February 9, 2015

Gadget of the Week - Apple Mac Mini

We haven't featured computers in a while, and this does not in any way mean there is a lack of innovative computing devices.Last week, we highlighted the unique Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.

Our gadget today is not exactly new, but its novelty and uniqueness endures. It has with every new iteration, become smaller albeit powerful.
Say hello to Apple Mac Mini.



Mac Mini is a small computing device that when it comes to PC, can be equated to this:

Mac Mini measures 7.7 inches (19.7 cm) square, and rises 1.4 inches (3.6 cm).
According to Apple, Mac Mini is mini in a massive way.

All that is needed to use the Mac Mini is a HDMI display, a keyboard and a mouse. The mouse and keyboard have to support either USB or Bluetooth functionality.


Where it stands out

Unlike other Apple products, Mac Mini is quite affordable (see pricing and availability below).
Another thing about Mac Mini is the way it has both Thunderbolt digital video output and HDMI video output. It also has 4 USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot and Gigabit Ethernet ports. Full specifications..

Mac Mini, unlike many other competing devices has the signature Apple 'unibody' design. This means the body of Mac mini is carved from a single block of Aluminum. This results in a sturdy, compact and light design.



Expert Reviews

Tech Radar wasn't all that impressed with the upgrade that Mac Mini received in 2014, saying
The Mac mini gets a new processor, upgraded Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt 2, but its lack of upgradability and a quad-core option may be a deal-breaker for some.

This is especially because the RAM on Mac Mini cannot be upgraded, the computer cannot run 4K video at 60Hz and still doesn't have quad core processors.

PC Mag looks at both ends of Mac Mini, saying:
The latest Apple Mac mini has more competition to contend with than its predecessor did, but it still manages to hold its own, and then some. It is better connected and more cost effective. Its only true drawback is the lack of internal memory expansion, and that's something that's becoming commonplace among Macs and Windows PCs every day.

Macworld UK has this to say about the notable low power consumption of Mac mini:
The last time we measured a Mac mini it was drawing just 10 W of power from the mains when at the idle desktop. Today’s most affordable Mac mini was found to have just 5 W requirements, rising to a maximum of 40 W when running flat out. That figure of 5 W is startlingly low, another important tick in the mini’s pros list. 


User Opinions

This photo comment is by someone who connected Mac Mini to a big-ass LG monitor.


Sparkk TV is a happy Mac Mini user, who finds it even faster and more powerful than advertised:
I have the new $499 base model with 4GB Ram & 1.4ghz processor. I find the model is very good and fast. I do alot of photoshopping and video editing and find that the low Ram and low processor is alot faster than the reviews are saying. I am able to do everything with this model no problem. I ran into the rainbow spinner one time and that was Finder not responding and just relaunched it, no other problems however. I was even able to get the model on sale for $50 cheaper as I had Best Buy match an online price. I feel this little Mac Mini can do alot more than what is advertised. It's very powerful with the specs it comes with, which is the same as the Macbook Air.

Daves is quite upset given the time and effort put into resolving the Mini's inability to play 4K video, despite Apple's claims that it does.
Doesn't support 4K monitors, even though specs say it does. After spending 6 weeks going back and forth with Apple support, and about 20 hours of my time, returned product to Apple, epic failure. The pixel clock is limited to 165 MHz which is not enough to drive 4K monitors.



Pricing and Availability

Mac Mini starts at $499 Ksh 45,679.
On Amazon, a 2.5 GHz, dual core Intel i5 Mac mini costs $599.


* * *

On the Mac mini web page, the computer is described as powerfully petite. In music circles, Avril Lavigne is a petite rock-star whose music is without a doubt powerful. And yes, she does love songs. Here is a track that echoes the undeniable fact that big things indeed come in small packages.








Sunday, February 8, 2015

Video of the Week - Eulogizing those who made History



Steve Jobs

This weekend, I've taken time to watch some videos about Steve Jobs. He died back on October 05, 2011. There are several videos I recommend, including, but not limited to One Last Thing from PBS, Billion Dollar Hippy from BBC and a Steve Jobs Revealed documentary from Bloomberg TV.


After Steve died, a memorial service was held at the Apple Campus in Cupertino and his sister, novelist Mona Simpson eulogized him.

Here is the entire transcript of Mona summarizing Steve's life.


Rosa Parks

Another person who made history by refusing to submit to injustice was Rosa Parks. Angered by racial prejudice against people of color in the United States, Rosa Parks once refused to give up her seat in a public bus because only whites were allowed to sit in that part of the bus. This and other acts of civil disobedience by Parks and others championed the civil rights movement in USA and elsewhere in the world.

To commemorate Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey delivered a moving speech where she used the phrase "I will not be moved" several times to underscore the very essence of Rosa Parks's resistance against racial discrimination and injustice.




Having problems with the above video? Download it here. The transcript and audio are available at American Rhetoric.

Whitney Houston

On the day Whitney Houston died, 98.4 Capital FM presented a 'Remembering Whitney Houston' show, sans a radio presenter, where just her music took the better part of two hours. This emotional show was played several times that Sunday.

Personally, I'll always remember Whitney Houston for her profound 'One Moment in Time' hit.

True, her life was in no way perfect. But Whitney was beautiful imperfect, as one wife once said of her husband. Here is Kevin Costner eulogizing Whitney.






* * *

To end this post, I've long agonized what would be the one song to aptly capture the conflicting emotions, fond memories, loss, grief, love, reflection.. that come with funerals.
Torn between Jewel's 'Leaving on a Jet plane' and 'One Sweet Day' by Mariah Varey and Boyz II Men, I've opted for the latter.







Friday, February 6, 2015

Podcast of the Week - We Know Nothing

February is love-month on Connect Magazine.
As Valentines Day draws near and even after mid-month, we shall share great resources where you can learn more about love, relationships, sex, marriage and myriad other emotions that draw people together, emotions upon which families are made and life created.

We hope you'll enjoy our collection.





On this first Friday of February 2015, we start with a podcast that takes a comical look at relationships.
Our podcast this week is the We Know Nothing podcast.

Produced weekly, We Know Nothing is presented by comedian Phil Hanley and musician Anya Marina, who seek to make sense of relationships, sex and romance.
Often in the company of an invited guest, it is fun trying to unravel these intricate emotions.


Favorite Episodes

Courting, Coping and Counseling. Download audio (mp3).

Sex, drugs and taking calls. Download audio (mp3).

Depression, A.D.D. the creative process, medication. Download audio (mp3).

Feminism, aging, success and squirting. Download audio (mp3).

Leaked celebrity nudes, broken genitalia and antidepressants. Download audio (mp3).
 

Podcast feed

The We Know Nothing podcast RSS feed is available thanks to SoundCloud.

* * *


It is love month at Connect Magazine and we believe, elsewhere in the world. All our music is all about love, and you have no idea just how big a collection we have. It seems love is the single most talked about, written about and sang about emotion.
So what is love? Let's just hope Will.i.am and Eva Simmons have the answer.







Sunday, February 1, 2015

Video of the Week - Great Ads used to market Controversial Products

Controversy in advertising can make or break a brand. Some controversial ads result is serious backlash and an ultimate reduction in sales. Others, such as the BBDO's 'Social Farter' public service announcement can raise lots of awareness but still not be effective.
Following are some of the ads that made it and others that never did.

Ads that Didn't Work

A good example is the Poise micro-liners ad below:




Others result in total chaos, such as the dark Hyundai UK and the racist Just for Feet Superbowl ads:






Ads That Worked

The best example of a commercial that had the desired effect is the PooPourri commercial:




Locally, PSI ran this umbrella commercial for Trust Condoms. Was it effective?




* * *

February is a month of love. And Connect Magazine is full of love for you. Over and beyond our great content, we're ending all our posts this month with love songs from across the world.
We'd like to start off with one of the most amazing love songs of all time. Here's Julio Iglesias and Diana Ross. Enjoy!






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